Archive for April, 2010

Stop Telling Me What To Do—Monday’s Musings

I was in a hurry. I loaded my folder, Bible and computer into my carrying case. Mentally, I checked off all I planned to do before Bible Study Fellowship. My 89-year-old mother called me into the TV room as I hurried through our dining room. Her eyes scanned my appearance as her companion prepared the meal.

“Let me take a look at those pants and see if they’re too tight.”

I seethed. Who was she to talk. My mom had always been a generous size 18. At least I wasn’t there,… yet. I spat out something to the effect that it was none of her business, and stop telling me what to do. Then my spiritual side started to hot-foot it off to study God’s Word. Of all the nerve!

My response haunted me as I applied my lip gloss. I discussed her comment with myself in the mirror. Why was I so abrupt? What is it about mom that bugs my fifty-one-year-old-self so much?

Rebellion whispered faintly in my ear. The Spirit spoke to me and I realized that I didn’t want her telling me what to do. I thought about my kids. I’d voiced my opinion to them for years—metamorphosing in their ears like a Charlie Brown parent. I was abrupt. I used words that I thought were helpful, but were sometimes hurtful.

I thought of my mom. Most days she didn’t leave her bedroom except for the one block walk up my street. She meant to help, even though it hurt. I contemplated a time recently when I’d been brutally honest with her.

“Mom, you need to change your Depends. It smells.” Ouch. That’s role reversal in full swing. My mom even calls me mom. What I said needed to be said. But wasn’t there a kinder way to say it?

I vowed to watch my words with her.

You see, I’m a ‘Proverbs 31 Woman Wannabe.’ When that woman speaks, “the teaching of kindness is on her lips.” My desire is to have love and kindness oozing from my mouth. I realize that it needs to come from my heart. Lord, forgive me. Change my heart and my words

My feet led me into the TV room as my heart desired to depart.

“How do I look, Mom?” I prepared myself for the worst. She gave me the once-over.

“They’re not too tight. You look good.”

Thanks, Mom, and thanks, Lord.

Caregiving and Sweeping

Sweeping the sidewalk is so real. Some say it’s mindless. I disagree. TV is usually mindless. That’s what we like about it. The computer can be mindless, depending on where you surf. But with sweeping, you hold a real broom and a real dust pan, and what you do makes a real difference.

So this morning, armed with the appropriate tools, I was sweeping and thinking right after the sun came up. I thought of how I’d been impatient with my Mom and how I could improve. My son came to mind, and I prayed for him. I wondered if Tom were on the water admiring God’s handiwork from out charter boat. I listened to the birds and tried to locate their position. And sometimes, I just swept.

Whether you’re a caregiver for a parent, a spouse, or your children, you need alone time. Time spent thinking, creating, worshipping.
Just like sweeping, it makes a real difference.